Rebecca Katz loves to cook and she loves inviting other people to join her in the kitchen — The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. “I show people how great taste and great nutrition can joyfully coexist at the dinner table,” she says.
She calls herself a “culinary translator” — someone who “is essentially translating nutritional science to the plate, seasoned by wisdom and the alchemy of flavor.”
Eight years ago, she published her cookbook The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. It includes:
- More than 150 healthy, mouth-watering recipes that stimulate appetite and address treatment side-effects including fatigue, nausea, mouth and throat soreness, and low blood counts
- The ‘Cancer Fighting Tool-Kit’: Everything caregivers and friends need to keep loved ones eating during treatment
- Vital advice on putting together a culinary support team
- A ‘Culinary Pharmacy’ that reveals the peer-reviewed science behind every ingredient in the book
- Strategies for thriving during treatment, including food and lifestyle choices that help patients stay energized, and food shopping, preparation, storage and serving tips.
Since it was published, Rebecca says “The research linking what you eat to how it affects the occurrence, treatment, and recurrence of cancer has exploded.” So, she has written a second edition of The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. It comes out January 2017.
“What have really caught my eye,” she says, “are recent studies emphasizing the fantastic role herbs and spices play in combating cancer. Gram for gram, they pack in more cancer-fighting phytochemicals than just about any other food. I’m so impressed with both the taste and nutritional power of herbs and spices that I’ve increased their content in many of the recipes.”
You can read more about Rebecca, her books, and what she’s serving up on her website. To whet your appetite, she shared two cancer-fighting recipes with us. One is for Moroccan Carrot Soup and the other for Magic Mineral Broth™
Moroccan Carrot Soup
makes 6 servings | prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 30 minutes
Saffron is one of my favorite spices to cook with. Yes, it can be a bit costly, but you really need very little saffron to get a huge bang for your buck. Here it gives a luscious, exotic taste to the carrots, which are naturally sweet. Saffron is also a visual delight; in this soup, the saffron looks like monks’ robes tossed against a vibrant orange background. Consider this dish a treat for all your senses.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 pounds carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon saffron threads
6 cups Magic Mineral Broth
2½ teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, plus more if needed
¼ teaspoon dark maple syrup, plus more if needed
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, saffron, and ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté until well combined. Pour in ½ cup of the broth and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 5½ cups of broth and another ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
Put the lemon zest in a blender and puree the soup in batches until very smooth, each time adding the cooking liquid first and then the carrot mixture. If need be, add additional broth to reach the desired thickness. Return the soup to the pot over low heat, stir in the lemon juice, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt, and gently reheat.
Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon, a pinch or two of salt, or a drizzle of maple syrup. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Meyer lemons are milder and sweeter than most store-bought lemons. If you don’t have Meyer lemons, use 2 teaspoons of lemon juice combined with 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice. As for the zest, regular lemon zest is an acceptable substitute.
Reprinted with permission from Clean Soups Copyright © 2016 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.
Magic Mineral Broth™
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 to 4 hours
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 4 months.
This is my Rosetta stone of soup, a broth that can be transformed to meet a myriad nutritional needs, serving as everything from a delicious sipping tea to the powerful base for more hearty soups and stews. So no matter what a person’s appetite, it can provide a tremendous nutritional boost. This rejuvenating liquid, chock-full of magnesium, potassium, and sodium allows the body to refresh and restore itself. I think of it as a tonic, designed to keep you in tip-top shape.
Makes 6 quarts
6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
2 unpeeled yellow onions, cut into chunks
1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered
1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered
5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (8-inch) strip of kombu*
12 black peppercorns
4 whole allspice or juniper berries
2 bay leaves
8 quarts cold, filtered water
1 teaspoon sea salt
*Kombu is a mineral-rich seaweed (in the kelp family) that adds an umami or savory flavor to stocks and broths. Kombu is usually found in the Asian section of a grocery store near the nori (seaweed sheets) that are used for sushi. Store dried Kombu in a cool dark area in your pantry.
Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves. Fill the pot with the water to 2 inches below the rim, cover, and bring to a boil. Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours.
As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (remember to use a heat-resistant container underneath), then add salt to taste. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
Reprinted with permission from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.
I’m going to make the Moroccan Carrot Soup and plan to keep some Magic Mineral Broth™ in the freezer to use as a base for other soups. I’ll be sure to share more of Rebecca’s recipes in the future.